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What to Do When KonMari Organizing Doesn’t Work

Last year, I spoke to a group of entrepreneurs about getting organized.  

At the end of the talk, there was time for questions- one of my favorite parts of any speaking engagement!  

One entrepreneur, asked what I thought about using the KonMari method to get organized.  

Side note: I’m often asked about this method and I’ll be honest- I’m not a fan!  Because I know that the KonMari method doesn’t work for me.

So I answered her honestly, but rather brutally…

The KonMari method is not the best way to get organized if you live in the United States.  

We have more space, and much more stuff than Japanese homes, so the process can be utterly overwhelming!  

And it can take much longer than just doing it the “non-magical” way.

I asked her if she’d tried the KonMari way.  

She hesitated before sheepishly saying yes, but… she’d been working on it for 9 months and she’d only gotten through all the pants in her home!  

We all laughed pretty hard and then I suggested it might be time to try something else!

So what could that something else be?  

Well, one thing is to throw your hands into the air, give up and continue to live in clutter and chaos.  

But that’s an awful suggestion and I’m only kidding, of course.

Instead, why not take the same principles of the KonMari method and tweak them so they’ll work in your household?  

Not everything about the KonMari way won’t work for you.

That’s because the KonMari method is only a spin on what every other organizer knows to be true.

Here’s how the “modified KonMari” method (a.k.a. my usual method)  works.  

And by the by, the following step-by-step advice is no different than the organizing advice I dish out in any other post!

1. Start in one room.

First, don’t try to tackle all of the pants in your home. That already didn’t work for you, so time for something different.

Instead, Concentrate your efforts in just one room.

Declutter each part of the room that doesn’t work.

If you haven’t used it in a while, chances are you won’t.

If it’s broken or need mending and you haven’t quite gotten around to it, chances are you never will!

2.  Let it Go.

Get rid of things you don’t want, won’t use, aren’t in good condition, or are no longer needed.  

Give yourself permission to let go of these things.  

It’s ok to let go of these sorts of items!

If these items were something you truly used, liked or wanted, you would’ve already used or fixed them by now.

Be brutally honest and real with yourself and let the unused items go.

Put them in your car and drop them off to a donation center.

Do not keep the items in your home for a few weeks and then dig into the boxes and bags and return everything to your home!

3.  Work in small areas.  

No, this doesn’t mean squeeze yourself into tight spaces, but rather, don’t bite off more than you can chew.  

Start with one drawer or one section of books and get it right instead of dumping out every drawer all at once and having a whole lot to deal with at once.  

Work bit by bit and you’ll consistently work your way to being organized.

Does this still seem overwhelming?

Try the Timer Game, outlined in this post.

When you play the Timer Game consistently, you’ll begin to make good progress.

4.  Put things where you’ll actually use them.  

The secret to arranging any room to be smartly organized is to store things where you’ll use them.

For example, the laundry stain remover should live with your laundry supplies instead of under the sink with general cleaning supplies.  

If the stain remover stays under the sink, best case is that you’ll forget you have it.

Worst case is that you’ll buy a second container and have to store both.  

Plus you’ll no longer have the money you spent on the second product.  

This is the Put Like With Like rule that I’m sure you’ve heard before.

Gather up your children's toys, stow them in a bin, then attach these cute printable toy organizing labels for the most organized toy room ever!

5.  Add Labels

Label things, especially if you’re using containers that you can’t see through.  

It’ll make it easy to tell what’s what without having to look into the containers.

I have some great label options at the bottom of this post!

Need even more help?

Ready for a tangible step in the direction of an organized life?  Snag the 365 Days to an Organized You Printable Organizing Calendar!  

Here’s how the calendar works: every day a different easy to accomplish task is on the calendar for every day of the year.

Yes, even when February 29th rolls around on the calendar, there is a task for that day.  

This calendar is great because it’s like having a professional organizer serving up a task to lead you to a more organized life.  

It couldn’t be easier!  Get it and get going!

Great Printable Label Options

Read this article for more on getting a kitchen organized.

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